Adjusting for the Ante

How do you Adjust for the Ante?

  • Intuitively without any calculations.

    Votes: 13 44.8%
  • Harrington's M ftw!

    Votes: 4 13.8%
  • Adding BB and SB.

    Votes: 1 3.4%
  • Multiplying by (.66) or (2/3).

    Votes: 9 31.0%
  • I don't adjust... :0

    Votes: 2 6.9%

  • Total voters
    29
Katie Dozier

Katie Dozier

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Adjusting for the Ante in Tournaments

One thing that consistently baffles me is otherwise very good MTTers that do not accurately adjust for the ante. Adjusting is crucial, especially late in an MTT when the antes are huge and the effective stack is often much shorter in actuality than players realize, which is a point I often make in my videos for Drag The Bar.

There are many ways to adjust, which all have their pros and cons. Here are a few:

1.) Intuitive adjustment. This is usually what a player is using when he says “I had 12 big blinds, but it was with the ante.” The problem with this method is accuracy, because it does not take into account how large the ante is. (As the common statement made by the hypothetical player above would still be true if the ante was tiny or if it were large.)

2.) Harrington’s M. In this popular method, you divide your stack by the total of blinds plus antes. While the “zones” of green for an M over 50 for example are a nice way to indicate how many speculative hands you should play, the pitfall of Harrington’s M is that it assumes a full table, which is often not the case late in a tournament. There is a way to further adjust to an effective M for playing short-handed, but that calculation is way more steps than are necessary to adjust for the ante.

3.) Adding the big blind and the small blind together and treating that total as the big blind. While this method is very easy to calculate, it varies wildly in terms of accuracy.

4.) Multiplying the starting pot by .66. This is my preferred method for many reasons. First of all it is accurate regardless of how many players are left at the table, and even if there is a dead small blind. Also, it is simple to calculate and easy to estimate whether playing live or online. (The reason it is .66 is that the big blind is usually 2/3 the starting pot.)

Poker is a game of limited information, so we need all the info we can possibly have—preferably as quickly as we can get it. That is why I think it is so important to take the time to accurately adjust for the ante.
 
dj11

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Closely related to this thread...

https://www.cardschat.com/forum/learning-poker-57/adjusted-big-blind-194239/

Harrington does adjust to shorter tables and ante's with his Effective M.

The way I calculate it I don't have to do anything fancy. I can not remember ever thinking I had 12.835 M. 12 or 13 will do fine. Even tho the dif in that case is 8% (ish), I don't think the 8% applied to that decision to shove is significant.

I check the pot size before betting starts but after blinds and ante's are posted, and figure out how many times my stack goes into that number.

I don't have to do any fancy addition of the antes, because all ONLINE sites show the pot size at all times.

When there are ante's, my contribution per orbit is the same as the number of players remaining at that table. Tables change as well, and all I have to do is when the table changes, I re-evaluate my effective M.

Sounds way more complicated than it is. However, the same info is available via ABB, and the .67 thing (2/3 thing is easier mentally). But apparently the result of the 2/3 pot is used to calculate something else.....What is that something else?
 
Egon Towst

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But apparently the result of the 2/3 pot is used to calculate something else.....What is that something else?


That was my question too. I think maybe Jenny/Katie forgot to wrap up her post.
 
Katie Dozier

Katie Dozier

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That was my question too. I think maybe Jenny/Katie forgot to wrap up her post.

Sorry if this was unclear-- I just meant that it equals the ante-adjusted BB.
 
Egon Towst

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Sorry if this was unclear-- I just meant that it equals the ante-adjusted BB.


And I assume you suggest that the point of knowing that information would be for bet sizing ? Or perhaps for judging when to adjust one`s hand selection ?

CCs readership includes a lot of beginners. It`s not necessarily safe to assume that the readers will grasp advanced concepts unless they are spelled out.
 
Katie Dozier

Katie Dozier

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And I assume you suggest that the point of knowing that information would be for bet sizing ? Or perhaps for judging when to adjust one`s hand selection ?

It is important to know for all the reasons that knowing the true effective stack size is important. To name a couple-- when to play shove/fold, when you are deep enough to set-mine, and so on.
 
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WiZZiM

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IN pokerstars SNG i do it intuitively. Also at blinds like 4-800 we're usually 3 handed or HU so the ante doesn't have a huge impact.

When i play MTT, i use pretty much the same rule you do, i work out the pot size and work out 2/3 of the pot to get a rough estimate of the blind level.

It's basically the same as M, but i feel that using the "ABB" is probably better, as i feel players get carried away with the "M Zone" or misuse it based on game type (For 9 man SNGs for example, using the same M Zone is pretty bad). I could be wrong here but it's just something i've noticed/personal opinion. Either way it's two differant ways of doing the same thing.
 
cjatud2012

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I like adjusted-BB (I've always called it effective bb's, but I guess that can be misleading), it feels way more intuitive to me. I basically always know what to do with 10bb's - I don't always know what to do with 8 M, however.
 
Katie Dozier

Katie Dozier

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* .66 won the poll!

Thanks for sharing your valuable insights, dj11, Egon Towst, WiZZiM, & cjatud2012 ! :)
 
E

eazy489

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Although I don't mind the .66, I am more on the intuitive side. I think the one thing we all generally agree on is that our preflop raising ranges open up significantly late in tournaments when the blinds and antes are big, and especially when we are 5, 6,7 handed. I think the three most important things you NEED to consider when deciding whether to raise late in a tournament are: 1) your chip stack. I won't be raising marginal hands when I have between 15 and 25 BB's, because I am looking to conserve those chips and get them all in preflop with the best hand. Making a marginal raise and having to muck preflop only to lose a few BB's will get you nowhere fast. 2) Your position. I am much more likely to raise A5s in the cutoff in a 7 handed game than I am UTG. Again, your chip stack should help you decide whether to raise a hand like this UTG. 3) The table dynamic. Have people been generally passive? If so, we can assume that opening our PFR range will boost our chip stack. If ppl are generally good and know what they are doing, I would stay away from raising wide UTG and in early position with marginal holdings. Also, don't feel like you need to raise in late position with marginal holdings every time. I am an MTT reg and I can say that folding marginal hands in position late in tournys has done me very well. I am very aggro but I won't raise every marginal holding I get in position late in a tourny.
 
Phoenix Wright

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I voted for multiply by .66 because that is the closest to what I do, but it is slightly different. I usually mentally calculate (or estimate with "strange" amounts) how much of a stack is 10bbs and then how much is 15bbs. I use these two values to then estimate my bb stack and effective stack while this sort of adjusts for ante too. It is easier to explain my method with an example than typing gibberish lol.

Say blinds are 50/100 (because the numbers are easy to work with xD). I now know that 1,000 chips is 10 bbs and 1,500 in chips is 15bbs. I then intuitively adjust for the ante in relation to my ranges (answer is sort of like the multiple by .66 method). For example, let us say 50/100 blinds with a reasonable ante in play. If I currently have 3,000 chips, then I realize that this is technically 30bbs (100*30 = 3,000), but I sort of treat it like 20bbs because 100*15 = 1,500 (10bbs) * 2 = my stack of 3,000 (or 20bbs).

I don't know if this makes sense to others or just me :D In this example I sort of know my 30bbs and my adjusted 20bbs effective stack with the ante so I almost take the median and play it with the range I would for a 25bbs stack (halfway between 20bbs and 30bbs deep).

Using the method that intuitively works for me also gives me room to adjust within that range. In the case where I'm technically 30bbs deep but 20bbs deep with my adjusted calculation for the ante, then my default is kind of to play my stack like 25bbs, but I can adjust it to playing like 20bbs if I want to play tighter and can adjust it to playing like 30 bbs if I want to play looser.

It is more like multiply by .75 than .66, but I don't know if this perfectly summarizes what I do. Adjusting to the ante this way works in my head lol
 
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karl coakley

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It is an interesting question. I usually don't have time to add more math to consider.

I personally deviate from the traditional 10bb shove. I'm looking to play for stacks at 20bb when playing online so Antes don't factor in as much.
 
Katie Dozier

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I voted for multiply by .66 because that is the closest to what I do, but it is slightly different. I usually mentally calculate (or estimate with "strange" amounts) how much of a stack is 10bbs and then how much is 15bbs. I use these two values to then estimate my bb stack and effective stack while this sort of adjusts for ante too. It is easier to explain my method with an example than typing gibberish lol.

Say blinds are 50/100 (because the numbers are easy to work with xD). I now know that 1,000 chips is 10 bbs and 1,500 in chips is 15bbs. I then intuitively adjust for the ante in relation to my ranges (answer is sort of like the multiple by .66 method). For example, let us say 50/100 blinds with a reasonable ante in play. If I currently have 3,000 chips, then I realize that this is technically 30bbs (100*30 = 3,000), but I sort of treat it like 20bbs because 100*15 = 1,500 (10bbs) * 2 = my stack of 3,000 (or 20bbs).

I don't know if this makes sense to others or just me :D In this example I sort of know my 30bbs and my adjusted 20bbs effective stack with the ante so I almost take the median and play it with the range I would for a 25bbs stack (halfway between 20bbs and 30bbs deep).

Using the method that intuitively works for me also gives me room to adjust within that range. In the case where I'm technically 30bbs deep but 20bbs deep with my adjusted calculation for the ante, then my default is kind of to play my stack like 25bbs, but I can adjust it to playing like 20bbs if I want to play tighter and can adjust it to playing like 30 bbs if I want to play looser.

It is more like multiply by .75 than .66, but I don't know if this perfectly summarizes what I do. Adjusting to the ante this way works in my head lol


This is a really cool way of adjusting for the ante, Phoenix—and one I’ve never encountered before now. Sounds like you’ve found a good method that works great for you and that’s awesome [emoji122]
 
Phoenix Wright

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This is a really cool way of adjusting for the ante, Phoenix—and one I’ve never encountered before now. Sounds like you’ve found a good method that works great for you and that’s awesome [emoji122]

Thanks :D I'm not really sure why I solve it that way, but that is kind of what I catch myself intuitively doing. I guess I should stick with it since it works well for me, but I'm always still open to hearing how others calculate the same situation. More to be better informed on how others are reasoning (with the end goal of exploiting similar scenarios by my opponents at the tables), but also a bit out of curiosity and being better rounded :)
 
fruittree

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I agree. Early the ante does not matter. But as you approach the money...adjustments must be made according to your stack. Hate to lose cashing because you blind out! So your betting must also be adjusted to the blind level!
 
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